News / Africa

    Chad, Sudan Signal End to Proxy Wars

    The long-running proxy wars between Chad and Sudan could be nearing an end following a rare meeting between the two nations' leaders in the Sudanese capital. The enmity between the two regimes has helped fuel the ongoing conflict in Darfur.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Chadian President Idriss Deby met with his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum this week in what could be a breakthrough moment in the easing of relations between the two countries.

    The two have announced that they will work towards peace within their troubled border areas. Chad has long-accused its eastern neighbor of granting safe harbor to opposition militias, and Sudan claims Chad supports certain Darfuri rebel groups.

    Another round of Darfur peace talks are under way in Doha, although no breakthrough has yet been announced.

    Most say that any potential peace arrangement in the region would require an end to the proxy war between Chad and Sudan. The talks are also plagued by deep distrust between the two sides and a rebel movement too fragmented to unite under a common position.

    Whether or not the commitments from the two leaders will result in any immediate tangible change on the ground is not yet clear.

    Analysts suggest that the sudden change of heart between the two leaders is due to the political realities facing each president in upcoming elections. Sudan's polls are set to take place in only two months, and Chad's vote is scheduled for 2011.

    Chad, Sudan Signal End to Proxy Wars
    Chad, Sudan Signal End to Proxy Wars

    Darfuri Fouad Hikmat, an analyst for the International Crisis Group, says that President Bashir does not want to see the rebels disrupt the April vote, where he hopes to receive support from the nomadic Arab tribes.

    "Darfur is the largest constituency after South Sudan. And therefore it is extremely important for [Bashir's] NCP that, if the elections are going to happen, it is going to happen in such a way that nobody is able to derail it by increased insecurity or attacks in Darfur," he said.

    Many of those from communities supporting the rebel movements remain in internally displaced camps or are living as refugees in Chad. Rebel groups say such a situation prevents any chance of fair elections and have demanded the polls be postponed.

    The strongest and most mobile of the many Darfuri rebel factions is the Justice and Equality Movement, known as JEM, which espouses a conservative Islamic ideology.

    JEM's base of support arises largely from the Zaghawa people group, which straddles the Sudan and Chad border. President Deby is also Zaghawan, and once used Darfur to launch his own military campaign to seize power.

    Khartoum is hoping that President Deby will be able to reign in his ethnic brethren within JEM. In exchange, Chadian rebels would no longer be allowed to use Darfur as a base for armed operations.

    But Hikmat doubts whether the Chadian president has either the political leeway or sufficient control over JEM to fulfill his pledge.

    "It will be very difficult for Deby to deliver to Bashir, and less difficult for Bashir to deliver to Deby," Hikmat added.

    The April elections in Sudan will be the nation's first multiparty elections in 24 years.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.